Naked Sandals Are Taking Instagram By Storm — These Are The Best Of Them

by Tanisha Pina
Originally Published: 
A woman taking a photo of her left leg while wearing a red naked sandal

Spring is here — and so is your new favorite sandal. Just when it felt like the ‘90s had no other fashion gems left to give, the decade generously offers up the return of a shoe that, by the looks of an Instagram feed nearest you, is about to dominate the warmer months ahead. That must-try throw back is none other than the effortlessly sleek, strappy sandal trend.

Also referred to as the naked or "barely there" heel depending on who you’re talking to, the minimal style features straps so thin that it can look and feel as though you’re not even wearing any shoes at all. Consider it the footwear equivalent of a slip dress — the functionality of the heel height makes them easy to throw on and go with virtually anything. Simple in design? Sure, but they're the furthest thing from boring.

And while the strappy style is still on a strong upward climb, it’s safe to say that Phoebe Philo tipped us off on the trend with Old Céline’s infamous “Nude” sandals, a pair of muted red cage heels from the brand’s 2018 resort collection, with teeny straps that resembled literal pieces of string. That pair is waning in circulation (and now eBay gold), but the torch has thankfully been picked up by runway heavyweights like Bottega Veneta and The Row in recent seasons, along with cult favorite brands like By Far and Staud, revitalizing the style for right now.

“We’ve been seeing this major reboot of key 90s styles, and this is arguably chicest silhouette from this trend,” says Marissa D’Elia, who handles trend concepting at Urban Outfitters. “ I love how this sandal can take you from a relaxed boyfriend jean to bike shorts and mini dresses as the weather changes.”

Lucky for you, they really are that versatile; and depending and you'll find all of the inspo to prove it. Scroll on to see how the strappy, barely there heel has made its mark on the runways and your Instagram feed, and shop a few favorite picks below.

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Arguably the most subtle iteration of this trend is the two-strap style, and these Jaggar slides set themselves apart from the other styles you've seen on your feed.

The patterned detailing and cylinder heel make for a perfect and unique hint of texture and shape.

Made with delicate, smooth suede, these fun yellow heels would look just as good with your favorite worn-in jeans as they would with a colorful summer dress.

Intimidated by the neon trend? Allow these relatively subtle kitten heels to be your entry point.

With a slim mid-heel, sharp square toe, toe-loop detail, this pair from ATP Atelier is screaming '90s prom — and it's so good.

Amina Muaddi's walkable heel makes this sweet PVC sandal an easy everyday option, and an investment in your wardrobe.

Over the top in the best way, this pair of Yuul Yie — combines the best parts of "lady" style with minimalist construction.

Made in Spain, these Alohas sandals fit the bill for a neutral, walk-able heel that isn't boring, and for under $100, it fits any budget too.

The lace-up straps make this the sandal perfect for both casual and dressier occasions and the heel height will have you on any dance floor all night.

Manolo Blahnik is a footwear label that championed this trend the first time around. These sassy sensations are cheeky and fun while remaining classic and chic.

It's an undeniable truth today that animal prints are a neutral, so these Schutz sandals can go with anything from a casual jeans and tank top to a power suit.

Lean into a casual look with the these simple tie back kitten heels.

Kalda is an emerging label from Iceland that sets out to provide shoppers with well-made shoes at a competitive price point. This style is reminiscent of the '90s sandals you love but has added modern details like a structural heel that make it feel more contemporary.

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